Have you ever noticed how small the LDS Church world is? It is not uncommon to run into people who know people you know. I’ve had several incidents in my years in the Church, some of which I considered kind of strange, in how and where I encountered Church members and found out we knew people in common.
The first time it happened I was in Geneva, Switzerland on business and because I often drove into France from there, I would see the Geneva Stake Center on the way. Well, on this one particular weekend at the end of May, I stopped in on Saturday to see if I could find out when Sacrament Meeting was held the next day. I encountered two missionaries in the building. As I was talking to them, I asked them where they were from. One was from Utah, and the other from Palos Verdes, California. When I told him I was from San Jose, California, he said that their former next door neighbors, Brother and Sister Davis, now lived in San Jose and did I know them. Well, Brother Davis was serving as the Stake Clerk, so yes, I knew them. By the way, on that Sunday, they were watching a tape of the April
The next time was a little stranger. We were at the airport on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where we had just landed. As my wife took two of our kids to the restroom, I sat on a bench with our youngest, at that time, in his stroller. A guy walks up to me out of the blue and Says,” Are you a Mormon?” Now, mind you, I had jeans and a golf shirt on and not shorts, but we had just arrived from the mainland.
Of course, I said yes and he proceeds to introduce himself to me. He was from Atlanta. Again, I said we were from San Jose. He says, “Oh, we used to live there. Do you know…?” And he rattles off a bunch of names. And yes, I said, “I know every one of those folks.” I never did ask him what made him approach me. I always thought it was kind of weird.
My last example is from a trip my wife and I made to Salt Lake to attend General Conference for the first time. We arrived on Thursday and went to the Tabernacle Choir rehearsal in the Tabernacle. It was already set up for Conference. I mentioned at the conclusion of the rehearsal that it would be neat to be able to stand at the podium.
My wife, being the sometimes bold person that she can be, went up to the stairs and motioned to one of the sisters standing up on the top. She came down and my wife asked if it would be ok if we could see the organ and the podium. The Sister, Jo Foulger, was a Church hostess and Secretary to the Choir. So, she led us up to the podium where I was able to stand where the Prophet and the other General Authorities stood. I thought that was pretty cool. Well, we got to talking and she asked us where were from. We said, again that we were from San Jose. Really, she said, do you happen to know one of my nephews who live there? Do you know Dennis Johnson?
Well, he and his family lived in our Ward! Imagine his surprise when we told him that we met his Aunt Jo. Well, that we the start of a very nice friendship where we subsequently visited her at her office, got to meet Jerald Ottley and were able to get good seats for General Conference the next time we went.
I have a number of other examples like that as well.
Have you had any experiences like that?